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Two Small Shields?

Grayoak

Newbie
Hello! In my process of making a good character, I had an idea that made me think.

I want a pacifist type character, where he doesn't do damage outright. (At least with weapons. "Too Barbaric.") However, I also wanted him to be able to defend himself well in combat.

My first thought was to use just a normal shield, but then I began to refine that idea until I got to a sort of IW Captain America version of two hand/forearm shields. (Without the offensive capabilities, naturally.) Just sort of using his reflexes and dexterity to block attacks.

Would this idea be allowed, or would I be better off using a standard shield? Also, are there any rules that I may have missed in regards to shield limitations?

~ Many thanks, Grayoak. :D
 
The problem with having forearm shields is that they need to be easily removed if someone hits you with Disarms.
From a spell side, those are going to be big targets for magic spells hitting you.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
You cannot use a shield in each hand, as there is no “two weapons” skill equivalent for shields. Ergo, if you’re holding two shields, you’re not legally holding one shield, so you could not legally block.
 

Feldor

Scholar
You might be able to get the effect you are going for by making a blunt weapon for 1-hand that is appropriately thematic. Make something that looks like a book, musical instrument, frying pan, a fish, shepherd's crook, tree branch, or a shillelagh. And then just don't attack with it and only use it for defense. Though if you have a shield, you'll end up in the battle line. Sometimes, using your weapon to block for the person beside you while defending yourself with your shield is good tactic.
 

Grayoak

Newbie
Draven, thank you for letting me know how it looks from the legal POV. That helps me out immeasurably.

Skollwolf, thanks to you for reminding me of the practical standpoint. I wouldn't be able to doff a shield fast in combat at all if the other was blocking me!

Feldor and Alavatar, I might just do something like that later on. Maybe a cranky old man whacking annoying kids with a scroll case, or a cane! :)

Many thanks to all of you! This has been enlightening!
 

J'rajj

Newbie
You cannot use a shield in each hand, as there is no “two weapons” skill equivalent for shields. Ergo, if you’re holding two shields, you’re not legally holding one shield, so you could not legally block.
Couldn't you just decide the "legal" shield to be the one that you happen to be blocking with at the time? Like the only way to have your 'illegal' other shield be hit is if both shields were to be hit at the same time?
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Couldn't you just decide the "legal" shield to be the one that you happen to be blocking with at the time? Like the only way to have your 'illegal' other shield be hit is if both shields were to be hit at the same time?
That’s an excellent question, and one I’m happy to answer.

What you’re proposing would make sense, if we had something like an “on” and “off” switch for active hands. But we don’t. Things that are held are active, 100% of the time. Here’s an example:

Johnny Darksassin has accepted a contract on Steve Steelguy. He stalks his prey, and finally getting him alone, he tosses a throwing dagger for “100 Assassinate!” However, the dagger veers slightly, slamming into the shield of Steve Steelguy, who was absolutely unaware that he was in combat until...well...the dagger hit.

Even though Steve wasn’t actively aware of combat occurring, his shield was legally in his hand and therefore active. As a result, the attack was blocked. That’s because what constitutes as active is defined by what’s actually being held, not by what the character decides to use.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
You could get around the Disarm issue with "snap" strapping instead of belting. (image below for reference). That said, if you wanted to be crazy defensive, a staff/shield combo would work. Staves when used one-handed are incredibly good at blocking melee weapons, shields are great at blocking arrows and you can wield them together with Two Weapon Fighting. If you then had the snap strapping in dire straights you could also use the staff offensively as a last resort. Honestly though staff only (shepherds crook, broom, shovel) is really good at defensive blocking. Eventually, assuming you're a scholar, you could also use high magic to channel through it.

 

Grayoak

Newbie
Max, thank you for bringing this Snap strap to my attention. I'll probably use this! (Maybe in tandem with a belt strap, to tighten it.)

As for the staff, I only plan on being an Artisian for the time being. Perhaps later on, I'll delve into the world of magic and incantations (and broom-wielding).

And, Draven. Great example. However, that begs the question, does the shield still count as active if Steve Steelguy had the shield in an area that wasn't his arm? Like holding it around the edges, or if it was resting on his back?
 
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J'rajj

Newbie
That’s an excellent question, and one I’m happy to answer...
I realize that what I am suggesting goes against the spirit of the rules, but consider this example:

Johnny twoShields standing around admiring his two Shields and is caught unaware by Keith McEdgelord. Kieth throws a dagger, but it hits one of Johnny’s shields. Johnny turns to face his attacker unharmed, as only one shield was hit. Kieth McEdglelord draws his two cursed dark daggers, and leaps at Johnny and attacks with both daggers. Kieth knows that Johnny can only legally block with one shield, so he hits both with each dagger, and defeats Johnny.

In this example Johnny is attacked unaware, but because only one of his shields was hit, he’s fine. In the second act, Johnny is defeated, because both shields have been hit. one of the shields are being used illegally, and are therefore a legal target to hit.
 
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Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I realize that what I am suggesting goes against the spirit of the rules, but consider this example:

Johnny twoShields standing around admiring his two Shields and is caught unaware by Keith McEdgelord. Kieth throws a dagger, but it hits one of Johnny’s shields. Johnny turns to face his attacker unharmed, as only one shield was hit. Kieth McEdglelord draws his two cursed dark daggers, and leaps at Johnny and attacks with both daggers. Kieth knows that Johnny can only legally block with one shield, so he hits both with each dagger, and defeats Johnny.

In this example Johnny is attacked unaware, but because only one of his shields was hit, he’s fine. In the second act, Kieth hits both shields, and Johnny is defeated, because one of the shields are being used illegally, and are therefore a legal target to hit.
Your first sentence is something that you should take very seriously. The spirit of the rules is extremely important to every Marshal (or should be). In fact, when discussing a call on the field, the first thing we do is not to interpret the rule as it “could be interpreted”, but rather how we believe it is intended by the authors.

Thus, lemme tell you, if this happened on the field, and the player who needed a call said, “I know it’s against the spirit of the rules, but...” that’s pretty much where the argument would end, because that makes that dude, at best, a cheese monkey. At worst, he’s knowingly cheating.

As for the meat of your argument:

As I said in my first response, you do not get to decide which hand is active; that is determined by what you are holding. You are holding a shield in both hands, thus, -both- shields are illegal because they each invalidate the other.

Taken a step further, if I was able to choose which was legally active, that wouldn’t apply just to shields. Heck, I could get one handed edge, no Florentine, no Two Weapons, and attack you with two longswords. Why? Because I’d just “pick” which hand was active at any given swing. I can’t actually swing both at once, after all, so, I’ll just constantly swap my active hand, right?

But we both know I can’t do that. And for the same reason, you can’t use two shields. Sorry.
 

Samyania

Scholar
Seattle Staff
I don't have anything helpful to contribute, I just wanted to point out that nobody has said "dual shielding" yet.

Thank you, good night.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
Alliance Rulebook said:
Shield
This skill allows a character to use a shield. Shield use in our game is unrealistic, as shields are practically indestructible. To compensate for this, shield use is somewhat restricted. Note that a shield is not considered a weapon. You cannot use a shield to perform weapon-based skills such as Parry or Riposte. If hit with a Summoned Force effect that references a “weapon” (such as Shatter, Destroy, etc.) the shield will not be affected. However, “I summon a force to shatter your shield” will work.
Where does is say that it is only for one hand? It is not even hand specific. If it is (which its not), can someone purchase Shield twice?
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Page 80 of the ARB states that a shield is a handheld item. Namely

“A “buckler” shield (a small shield that is strapped onto the arm) must still follow all shield rules—in other words, you cannot have a buckler on your left arm and still hold anything in your left hand. There is really no advantage in the game for a buckler, so it is advised that regular shields be used instead.“

Ergo, it’s a handheld item, and follows the rules as such.


And no, you can’t purchase Shield twice, any more than you could purchase One Handed Edge twice instead of getting TW/Florentine.
 

Feldor

Scholar
That buckler example on p80 is also why a shield strapped to your arm is still subject to disarm. Otherwise it would not be considered a hand-held object, and therefore not subject to disarm.

That is also a great example of where our rulebook could use to be copy-edited. We have a bunch of things similar to this. It does lead to cases where you attempt to look up something, think you find the definition of a skill, and then find its been further amended at a later point. Another example is two handed blunt (p68) - can you thrust with it? Does the line in the one-handed weapon description (p63) apply to it? Its later made clear in the weapon construction guidelines (p82) that it was intended to. But if you just look up the skill description, there is no indication that you can't.
 

J'rajj

Newbie
You cannot use a shield in each hand, as there is no “two weapons” skill equivalent for shields. Ergo, if you’re holding two shields, you’re not legally holding one shield, so you could not legally block.
so it looks like I had misinterpreted your first point from the very start. "if you’re holding two shields, you’re not legally holding ANY shield"?

Your first sentence is something that you should take very seriously...

But we both know I can’t do that. And for the same reason, you can’t use two shields. Sorry.
I'm not trying to use two shields, or cheese any rules, but it's an interesting thought. And I'm not trying to suggest sweeping rule changes or re-interpretations.
I do think it would be interesting if you actually could use two of whatever weapon or shield in your hand without the requisite Florentine skill. IG it could be like your character knows how to use those weapons, but isn't skilled enough to use them both at the same time. but he sure as hell can try to. He could attack with his right weapon, but if someone hits his Left hand weapon, he either takes the hit, or blocks it resulting in his initial right hand attack to deal zero damage.

But It looks like I've derailed the thread with "it would be cool if X" so I digress.

The problem with having forearm shields is that they need to be easily removed if someone hits you with Disarms.
From a spell side, those are going to be big targets for magic spells hitting you.
Couldnt one just keep a Paste of stickiness handy whenever disarms are being thrown around? that way our potential pacifist friend could have his forearm shield, and still have his hand free to chuck spells or gasses
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
so it looks like I had misinterpreted your first point from the very start. "if you’re holding two shields, you’re not legally holding ANY shield"?
Correct.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
That is also a great example of where our rulebook could use to be copy-edited. We have a bunch of things similar to this.
I'm not an editor, and have no idea who edited the 1.3 rulebook, but it very much feels like it was edited as if it was typical prose, not the specialized kind of editing reference/instructional material needs.
 

Grayoak

Newbie
:eek: WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

Seriously, though. Thanks for all the input, but I find its better to not argue with the dude in charge of interpreting the rules. It's quite literally his job.

Though this has slightly de-railed, it also gave me quite a few of ideas on how to handle the character and some of his tactics.

~Many thanks to all, Grayoak.
 
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